Veriu Group has introduced its first Veriu-branded hotel to the Victorian market with the launch of Veriu Queen Victoria Market on Wednesday December 14.
Veriu Group executives, including CEO Zed Sanjana, were joined by Vince Giuliano of development partner PDG Corporation, and Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, for the official opening, with fellow industry members also in attendance.
Located in Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market precinct, which is undergoing a AU$268 million renewal program led by the City of Melbourne, the 110-room apartment-style hotel will benefit from heavy footfall through the area.
Veriu Group CEO Zed Sanjana told HM the location of the property has great significance for the group.
“It’s a fantastic location – the proximity to [Queen Victoria] market, being the number one tourist destination in Victoria, but also supported really strongly with the corporate demand that exists around this area,” Sanjana told HM exclusively.
“The hospital precinct drives a lot of business into apartment hotels, as well as the legal precinct on Queen Street. There hasn’t been a lot of good quality new supply this side of the city – a lot of supply into Melbourne is on the other side – and there’s a lot of growth out this way.
“It’s been a marathon – four or five years in the making.”
The hotel features fully self-contained one-bedroom and studio apartments for longer stay solo travellers, as well as Deluxe Apartment Suites and Quad Apartment Suites that can sleep four people, all of which include kitchen facilities and desks.
Guests can also avail of a 24-hour reception, cocktail bar, conference and meeting facilities, outdoor terrace, guest pantry, gym, swimming pool and laundry, making it suitable for both the corporate and leisure market.
The opening marks the first stage of Veriu Group’s strategy to roll out the Veriu brand nationally, with Veriu Collingwood expected to open early in 2023. It brings the total number of hotels in the Group’s portfolio to 20.
Speaking at the opening, Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, revealed the importance of investing in the iconic market and her hopes for the future of the area.
“The City of Melbourne is absolutely dedicated to this precinct, with $300 million being invested by Melbourne City Council in upgrading and future proofing the magnificent heritage sheds and our dairy and meat halls and introducing a brand-new car park,” she explained.
“We have a long-term vision for this precinct. Just next door, we’re putting in our city library – it sits on top of the pub. We’ve also got affordable housing, we’ve got community spaces, and we’re introducing social enterprises to this precinct. Melbourne is the capital of social enterprises, and we are making sure that they have a very visible and active presence in this precinct.”
Capp expressed her confidence in the success of the Veriu hotel and praised the group’s efforts on sustainability.
“Veriu’s proposition is very much aimed towards the corporate market, and with so many businesses located in our CBD, I know you’re going to benefit from that,” she said.
“The sustainability credentials in particular are worth mentioning –the building fabric and the glazing, the commitment to electric vehicles and bicycles, even the mattresses have a green rating.
“We’re really pleased that in delivering a much-needed and welcomed accommodation offer through Veriu that there’s also been so much thoughtfulness put into important issues that have a deep impact on our community for the longer term.”
Ashkan Mostaghim of Mostaghim Architecture and Interior Design, who has been the lead architect on most of Veriu’s properties, led the design of the hotel interior which features many special tributes to the nearby market.
“We’ve got this obsession with trying to create meaningful connections for guests that come to our hotels with either the history of the site location or the precinct that’s within the location itself,” Sanjana told HM.
“There’s lots of subtle things and less subtle things that we do,” he said, pointing to the roof trusses which are replicas of those inside the famous market sheds.
Speaking at the event, PDG Corporation Founder and Managing Director, Vince Giuliano, shared how the team carefully thought out every design decision including the use of striking red tiles in the bathrooms.
“The tiling in the bathroom connects with the colour of the sheds so that it actually feels like you’re part of the market,” he explained.
“There was a lot of discussion about whether we should use Indian red in our bathrooms, a lot of late-night calls, zoom calls and photos back and forth.”
Victorian-based Veriu Group is also soon to introduce its latest Punthill property with the upcoming opening of the 40-apartment Punthill Essendon North, as well as its first Sydney Punthill property, Punthill Norwest.
Construction recently commenced on its first two regional Punthill properties – Punthill Maitland in NSW and Punthill Geelong in Victoria, and construction is underway at Punthill’s first NSW greenfield site in Liverpool.